2013 HP4 inconsistent power output? - BMW S1000RR Forums: BMW Sportbike Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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2013 HP4 inconsistent power output?

Hi guys,

I purchased a 2013 HP4 in late May. To say it is a huge upgrade from my '03 R1 is an understatement. I haven't ridden it all that much, maybe 10 rides out in the high speed twisties and a little bit of commuting to and from work.

So, the way I approach anything new in my life, is I take it slow and give myself time to feel it out. The first time I rode it I had it in rain mode. I had built this thing out in my mind to be a vicious monster that would lift in 6th gear with little effort. So first ride, I took it easy.

Then as I got more comfortable, I rode it in Sport and Race. I noticed a difference in the DDC and the throttle response with these mode changes.

After a few more rides I put in the dongle and tried it in slick mode. It didn't feel much different, but I liked it. I ride it mostly in slick mode now.

The one thing that I did notice, is that I was not all that impressed with the power. The low and mid range feels like my R1 (02-03 had tons of low end, and not much top end compared to other R1s). The top end is definitely much stronger than the R1, but... it doesn't always feel the same.

Some days, when I pin it in 2nd the front end lifts and it feels like a beast, other times it feels underwhelming.

Then, I met up with a buddy who has a modded '08 R1 (175 whp) and we switched bikes. To me, his bike felt insane and wild. It lifts effortlessly in 2nd and 3rd. When we switched back, he said he was blown away by the HP4's suspension and braking, but he felt that the power was missing.

So of course, I'm not on the bike 24/7, other **** goes on in life and I don't think about the bike.

A few weeks go by, and I'm riding with a buddy who has a 2015 S1000R. At one point, he pins it in 2nd and holds every gear to the top. I was behind him and I could NOT catch him in a straight line. And that's with me shifting right before cutoff using the quick shifter etc... I mean, I don't know what more I could have done. And I could not inch up on him one single bit.

That last one really got me thinking. I realize the S1000R has more mid range torque, but shouldn't I be able to pass him fairly easily with the HP4? We're only 30 lbs apart, body weight wise. (We also switched bikes, and I was right behind him the S1000R and I had no trouble keeping up with the HP4 in the twisties, and he's a hell of a rider. Other than the top end and the aero, that bike felt amazing!)

Another time, I was pinned in 2nd and as the RPMs climbed I noticed the engine suddenly get more noisy and I could swear I felt the power kick in like a switch.

So, pondering all of this, I thought maybe it was the wheelie control, or the DTC... But I have never seen the DTC light flash. I've tried riding with the DTC and ABS off just to see, and don't really feel a difference.

Now I wonder if this is all in my head, or if maybe the DDC makes the bike feel so stable and in control compared to the wild R1, giving the impression that it's not as fast or crazy, but that still doesn't explain how I couldn't catch the S1000R.

So, I'm not really sure what I'm asking for here, but maybe someone has had similar issues or this is a known issue?

Thanks for your time!

tldr; Not sure if inconsistent power is actually inconsistent perception of power on my part, or a real issue with the bike...

2013 S1000RR HP4 Competition
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 12:45 AM
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Just get someone to ride it. A technician or even someone who knows these bikes well. They will tell you if something is off.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bennymx View Post
Just get someone to ride it. A technician or even someone who knows these bikes well. They will tell you if something is off.
Yeah, I guess there isn't really much we can tell over an internet forum... I was thinking I should put it on a dyno and see how much it's making.

Thanks for the reply.
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2013 S1000RR HP4 Competition
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 07:51 AM
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You didn't mention how many miles are on the bike, or what service it has/hasn't received. A dyno run is a good idea, but with a bike that old I'd be putting a set of plugs in it if I thought the performance was iffy, unless you have the service records and everything is up to date.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 11:12 AM
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Make sure maintenance is done on these bikes as they get older. I've seen some incredibly beat up spark plugs causing big (dyno tested) power degradation. Also if the bike has never had a valve adjustment, worth doing.

These engines are very strong and BMW has a strung out maintenance schedule. Doing some items earlier than called for doesn't hurt especially something like plugs which is small cost and not a ton of labor.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input you guys. Sorry, I forgot to post the mileage. The bike has 28,000 km (~17,300 miles). I was planning on checking the valves over the winter and thought I'd throw in plugs at that time. I wonder if old plugs could rob the engine of enough power to explain the above. Either way, I'm excited to checking everything now.

Thanks again for the replies.
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2013 S1000RR HP4 Competition
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 07:13 AM
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30,000km is the major service anyway. Plugs get replaced and valves checked. Majority of the time the clearances are in spec at 30k. I am about to do my 60k valve check so will be interesting to see.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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So, little update for you guys.

Last week I took the bike to work and on the way home at 1:00 am I gave it to her all the way home. The bike pulled like a freight train. I can confirm now that it definitely is not always running the same. It lifted like nothing in 2nd, with me laying on the tank. And it felt really fast in every gear.

Then just two days ago, I was riding around easy, and just before getting home, I decided to open it up in 2nd. As I reached around 10,000 I noticed that the bike was not pulling at all, the power just faded completely, so I closed the throttle. On decel, all I could hear was the sound of rocks in a washing machine. I was like "that's it, I just blew the engine". Engine braking felt weird. In the heat of the moment I could not figure out whether I blew the engine, the tranny or the chain... So as I got back down to a normal speed I revved the engine a little bit and it sounded fine. I moved up and down the gears, they all felt fine. So I continued on my way home nice and easy and could feel nothing out of the ordinary and the bike sounded fine.

Things I noted:

- The clutch most definitely is not slipping.
- It was not a mis-shift, I was well engaged in 2nd and the power faded away smoothly, it did not suddenly go into neutral or anything like that.
- The rattling continued even after I put in the clutch, leading me to believe it was in the tranny. But it could have been the engine still winding down. Hard to say.

I haven't had time to look at it yet. But having had a few days to digest that, a few things I thought about:

- Maybe the cam chain tensioner is going out? This could explain the inconsistent top end power.
- Maybe the front sprocket turned (slipped) on the shaft (Is that even possible?)
- Slipper clutch skipping on decel? Since the loud rattling sound was only on decel.

On my next days off, I will dump the oil and look for metal debris.

I'll post an update when I have one.

2013 S1000RR HP4 Competition

Last edited by Agtronic; Yesterday at 10:42 AM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Today, 12:18 AM
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I think the place to start is a valve clearance check, cam shaft timing, cam lobe inspection and a set of plugs. In the mean time, put in some Chevron Techron Plus for a couple of tanks of fuel or Seafoam. You never know what quality of fuel the previous owner used and it does not hurt to keep the injectors clean once and a while.

I change tires, you buy them on the web, $50. Seattle area. I use a Coats power tire changer, been doing tires for 15 years.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Today, 07:32 AM
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Not 100% if the hp4 is same as the s1000rr's

Have you got exhaust flap valves?

Valve sticking could explain good some days not others.

Also when I buy a bike I'd always do oil, oil filter, air filter and plugs.

Least then you know when to do them next. Iv yet to buy a fully serviced bike that was fully serviced. Most is just a oil change.
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